Another year has passed, I’m returning again to look after my website… and boy, this doesn’t look good at all. Literally. After running to get confirmation from my girlfriend, the verdict is clear: this website’s style has aged, and it hasn’t aged well. Not only is it green, it also looks totally 2007. Which, coincidentally, was when I designed it.
It's the Hulk!
So I decided to overhaul everything, starting from scratch. First, some backend maintenance needed to be done though. Since update 3.2, WordPress doesn’t support MySQL4 databases anymore. I think I already had had the choice to use a MySQL5 database when I started this, but I can’t for the life of me remember why I chose to make do with the older version. Hence, I had to migrate the old database to a new version before I’d be able to do any design work.
That done, I really did start from scratch. The current version of WordPress comes with the theme Twenty Eleven 1.2, and I used that as a basis for what you can see now. So far I’ve only modified some of the PHP templates and fiddled a bit with the CSS. I’m sure I’ll do a lot more before I fall into the next hiatus which’ll surely last until next year’s summer. 😉
After one week of working on several drafts, I decided it was time for a release of version 0.1. I wont give this release a full version number (e.g. 1.0) yet because there is still lots of fine tuning needed.
I started off with a simple HTML layout based on CSS. Like many others (I presume) I had only worked with tables for designing layouts, so CSS was a real revelation. I’ll never go back to using tables, really. After the first few days decided I wanted a more dynamic content management system, which pure HTML can’t offer (at least not when I code it). I chose WordPress for that. I lost about a day trying to work out its structure, mainly by reverse engineering the default theme and heavily modifying it to suit my needs. I never worked with PHP before and knew nothing about it so this proved to be quite a challenge – but I’m happy with the results so far.
The graphics have gone through three major overhauls during this one week, the current version is what I finally came up with today. I might change it again though, depending on wether or not I can still bear to watch it tomorrow.
For the next update I’m gonna try to get the structure of the subcategories sorted, along with uploading some content. I’m still not perfectly happy with using HTML for those pages – it’s not very convenient to update and I’m not sure if I want to go through that every time something changes in those categories. Other fixes will involve a consistent hyperlink design, some changes in font size here and there and maybe a restructuring of the sidebar.
Thanks go out to Mr. Fukai for advising me of the possibilities inherent in CSS, to the Lavazza coffee company for helping to keep me awake, and to my sweet girlfriend for reminding me of the fact that humans need to sleep in order to keep up the creative flow. 😉